Is it real, or is it just a buzzword? That’s one of the questions speakers at the up-coming IMET conference and exhibition will address for attendees trying to sort out trends in engineering and enterprise solutions. Here are a few highlights of what show goers can expect to learn:

Digitize to Maximize
It was taking as long as a week to communicate design changes to manufacturing personnel at remote facilities through Nissan Research and Development’s document control room in Michigan. Nissan now uses Intranet Docs, from Digital Paper (booth 405), which allows drawing access in a Web browser. Documentation distribution takes minutes instead of days and can be printed on the nearest printer. And saved print sets can be e-mailed throughout the intranet. “With the Digital Paper solution, we could satisfy all 500 users in our facility,” says Nissan Operating Systems Su-pervisor James Tgiros.

Tgiros also reports that Nissan’s shipping and receiving department uses Intranet Docs to verify parts on the loading dock and the Service, Quality Control, and Purchasing Departments are using it to improve technical knowledge and streamline work processes.

e-Business in the Fast Lane
Rolls-Royce Aero Engines switched from ordinary paper binders to intelligently epublished documentation for its worldwide customers. You can find out how at a Day in the Life Session, Wednesday, October 11, 2000 at 2:30 p.m.

The problem that Rolls-Royce faced was trying to publish, organize and update 50,000 to 70,000 pages of text and graphics for each engine overhaul and maintenance manual. They went to e-content via the Enigma system. At the core of the new system was intelligent data that allowed full-text and topic-specific searching, hierarchical tables of contents and visual access navigation.

With visual access navigation, a maintenance technician can click on specific parts of engine diagrams and access further relevant information. Another nice feature is that maintenance and overhaul shops can add custom content such as tooling information and provide this republished information to their customers.

Internet Sales: Fast and Simple
SpaceWorks OrderManager is a Web selling system that integrates with back-end systems, e-marketplaces, and procurement networks and provides real-time comprehensive access to information. Among Space Works' customers is John Rosenfeld, the e-Commerce Leader for GE Aircraft Engines. "SpaceWorks came through with rapid implementation, delivering the fully tested, fully operational system in only 53 days. We couldn't have imagined it being more successful," he says. The GE Aircraft Engine case study will be presented at IMET on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 at 1:00 p.m. At booth 527 you can also learn about other successful implementations teaming Space-Works and Enigma with major manufacturers such as Maytag.

e-Productivity: Tell Me Something I Don't Know
Protomarket.com. helps slash part costs, cut servicing lead time and expand your supplier base, serving as your free e-marketplace for rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, casting, and CNC machining. The idea behind Protomarket.com is to match buyers with high-quality vendors. Buyers get the best price and delivery time on parts. Vendors can expand their customer base, cut sales costs, and fill excess capacity.

SupplierMarket.com in booth 427 can help source a new part and find new business while saving you time and money. Buyers can write standardized request for quotes (RFQ) online. They can also review prequalified suppliers' capabilities. Sellers submit bids in online bidding events, and perhaps gain business they would not otherwise have access to. Attendees will also learn about the impact of the acquisition of this privately held company by industry giant Ariba.

CapacityWeb.com enables manufacturers worldwide to buy and sell engineered parts, capabilities, and manufacturing capacity. Initially targeting the metal contract manufacturing market, CapacityWeb is a robust platform for industrial manufacturing capacity exchange across a broad array of vertical industries.

The View is Nice
The Computers in Manufacturing portion of IMET includes solutions that improve document review capabilities, especially over the Web. One stop is Informative Graphics Corp., a software developer for the information viewing process. Their flagship product, Myriad, is an engineering viewer that enables viewing and annotation for more than 200 file formats, including leading 2 and 3D design packages. Speedy and accurate review processes during design changes are your main incentives for stopping at booth 419.

Spicer Corp. lets you view and markup via the Web with ViewCafe. This is an online collaborative tool for CAD drawings, MS Word and Excel files, plotter output, scanned images, and more. ViewCafe lets you add comments, highlight text and communicate changes in a secure environment.

Cimmetry's booth features their AutoVue product, viewing and mark-up software providing native file support for over 200 business and engineering formats. It integrates seamlessly with EDM/PDM and ERP systems.

If you need math, science or engineering technical software, visit MathSoft in booth 318.

Better Designs, More Collaboration
In addition to being systems integrators for solutions from companies like Autodesk, SDRC, and SPI, Hagerman & Co. helps manufacturing clients become more productive through tools and implementation services for CAD/CAM/CAE, document management, and knowledge-based engineering.

Axiomatic design is a process for creating new designs and for diagnosing existing designs. Axiomatic Design (booth 319) offers designers a powerful method/process to completely understand a product or project. "At Ford, Axiomatic Design methods have been helpful in studying designs ranging from a transmission parking pawl, to systems associated with vehicle drift/pull. Axiomatic Design is useful in problem solving and new model design applications, including design of an essentially new transmission," according to Larry Smith, quality and reliability manager for Full-Size Pickup and Utility Vehicles, Ford Motor Co.

Smart Technologies develops products for shared spaces. The company's products help groups access and share information, teach, train, and present. Smart Roomware solutions include interactive whiteboards, multimedia cabinets, and software that facilitates meeting and training.

The e-Manufacturing MarketPlace is the place 2B for B2B. There you'll find eXcelon Corp., a leading provider of products and services that enable companies to engage in dynamic business-to-business (B2B) commerce across the Internet.

Perceptual Robotics, Inc. (PRI) develops and markets leading edge software and systems for live visual telepresence. Customers include Microsoft, Boeing, the NBA, Ford, Playboy, IBM, WNBA, and National Geographic.

They're also very visible from the plant floor and you can see first hand how a leader in the manufacturing of aerospace components allows customers to view their component characteristics via a live camera in a remote location at the Day in the Life session: Visual Tools and Technologies for Solving Business Problems: Remotely Controlled Web-Based Camera Communication on the Factory Floor. This session will show how approved Web-site visitors can receive live, interactive views of the actual floor and zoom in on even the tiniest detail of a manufactured component. The collaboration theme prevails with images delivered from the remote camera via e-mail.

If you think that it may be time to bring in a consultant to help you solve your manufacturing business problems, visit Chicago-based First Chair Technologies. They have experience in solving business problems using skilled resources, strong project management, and Web technology.

Ingenuus Corp. has chosen IMET 2000 to launch its Ingenuus applications for virtual manufacturing. This product is an application for managing product and document change throughout the entire virtual enterprise. It provides for adaptable, process-based collaboration between trusted customers, suppliers, and other business partners. Ingenuus applications combine people, processes, information and technology to make normally complex and difficult collaboration a lot easier. This can lead to a dramatic improvement in profitability and efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Get Educated and e-Educated

The four shows under the IMET umbrella have combined their educational program so that you can attend any session for the low early-bird fee of $295. This means that you can go to intense design engineering courses in the morning and attend e-commerce sessions in the afternoon. You can mix and match any of the following sessions:

  • e-Commerce for Manufacturing Design and Engineering
  • Extended Enterprise Systems
  • Maintenance Repair & Operations
  • Information Technology

Case studies will present real-life lessons from manufacturers. Keynote presentations come from experienced entrepreneurs with a background in manufacturing.

Bring your team — You can maximize company expertise for a low price of $885 for four team members and $1,500 for unlimited corporate staff. These offers apply until September 15, 2000.

Check out www.imetexpo.com for a complete listing of conference sessions.

If you're a manufacturing professional and you want to use the Internet to improve your business or product development process, you'll find answers at IMET. You will also learn how to best apply motion systems technologies, including fluid power, electrical, electronic, mechanical and control system components for maximum productivity. IMET is the best time you can spend to learn design-to-market solutions for manufacturing.

For more information or to register for IMET, visit www.imetexpo.com or call 800-964-9665.